Montgomery Budget Highlights

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) proposed a $4.3 billion spending plan yesterday that closes a projected $297 million shortfall through a mix of tax and fee increases and budget cuts:

- Increases spending by 3.9 percent, compared with an 8.5 percent average annual increase during the past 10 years.

- Increases spending on schools by 4 percent, or $74.8 million, representing about 98 percent of the school system's request.

- Exceeds the county's local limit on property tax revenue by raising the average property tax rate by 8 percent. It goes up by 7.5 cents, to 97.8 cents per $100 of assessed value.

- Provides a $1,014 credit for a homeowner's primary residence.

- Eliminates 225 government jobs, in part through early retirement packages.

- Creates an ambulance service fee, ranging from $350 to $750, that would be billed to an individual's insurance provider.

- Eliminates the police department's Community Services Division.

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